The Risks of DIY Wills and How to Overcome Them

December 21, 2023 by QLAdmin

Crafting a Will at home, often termed a DIY or homemade Will, can be fraught with pitfalls. Homemade Wills can range from a simple handwritten note to Will kits, many of which are based on English law which may differ from the law in Scotland.  

Here is a breakdown of potential issues and how to navigate them:

1. Ambiguity:

  • Risk: Homemade Wills might lack the precise language needed to truly express your intentions, leading to confusion or even legal disputes.
  • Solution: Ensure clarity in wording. It is wise to get professional legal input to prevent ambiguities.

2. Legal Compliance:

  • Risk: There are specific criteria in Scotland for Wills, like witness requirements, as well as the testator’s mental capacity. Common mistakes involve incorrect signing or insufficient detail.
  • Solution: Consult an experienced solicitor. Kay at Quill Legal, based in Edinburgh, can ensure that your Will adheres to all requirements.

3. Inadequate Planning:

  • Risk: Your DIY Will might miss crucial aspects like tax considerations, child guardianship or who would inherit if all named beneficiaries had died.
  • Solution: Estate planning is about more than a Will. Solicitors specialising in estate planning can provide a comprehensive approach.

4. Knowledge Gaps:

  • Risk: Estate matters can be intricate and a DIY approach might not cover every aspect, for example legal rights and the complications arising from diverse family structures.
  • Solution: Trust an expert. Quill Legal has the know-how to consider all factors however complex the situation.

5. Evolving Laws:

  • Risk: Laws change. Without professional guidance you might not be adequately informed about recent legal changes affecting estate planning.
  • Solution: Regularly consult with a solicitor. Quill Legal stays updated on the legal landscape and can provide you with the necessary guidance.

To Sum Up:

While it is possible to craft a DIY Will, being aware of the potential risks is crucial. Collaborating with an experienced solicitor will ensure that your Will is legally sound and truly reflects your intentions. Choosing professional guidance gives you the assurance that your final wishes will be honoured.

If you wish to make a Will or have any queries Kay Blaikie can be contacted by calling Quill Legal on : 0131 564 1044 or by email :

Kay Blaikie

Principal of the Firm

Get in touch with me when you need reliable legal advice on any aspect of Executries, Wills, Powers of Attorney and Notarial services.

Telephone: 0131 564 1044